Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash is telling close personal friends that he would not be opposed to parting ways with his current club, according to SportsNet’s John Shannon.
Nash allegedly has become fed up with the constant rebuild happening with the Blue Jackets and wants to play on a winner. However, he will not demand a trade. He will only waive the no-trade clause in his contract if Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson approaches him to do so.
But do the Blue Jackets have any intentions in dealing their captain and the face of their franchise?
Reports by the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch and Andy Strickland of True Hockey indicate that Columbus have higher priorities that trading Nash. And that would include moving struggling forward Jeff Carter and his massive contract. There is no indication at the moment that Nash is being shopped.
In the case that the Blue Jackets put Nash on the trade block, Garrioch believes that it would take a hefty package to acquire the Olympic gold medalist: at least a top young player, a prospect and a first round draft pick.
Garrioch claims that the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers would be interested, but Nash’s $7.8 million cap hit through 2018 may be a deterrent.
One team that wouldn’t have problems accommodating Nash’s salary and cap hit, is the Toronto Maple Leafs.
And wouldn’t you know it? Nash’s name has actually been linked to the Maple Leafs, as Bob Mitchell of the Toronto Star wrote.
Internet rumors, fueled by AM 640 hockey analyst Bill Watters, ran rampant earlier this week that Nash would be heading to Toronto along with forward Kristian Huselius, in exchange for forwards Mikhail Grabovski and Nazem Kadri, and defensemen Luke Schenn and Mike Komisarek.
Those reports were quickly debunked by TSN’s Darren Dreger, who reported that Maple Leafs general manager has not had any conversations with the Blue Jackets about Nash — who was born in Brampton, Ontario, just outside of Toronto.